March 13 2013 12:00 AM

Plans for the pool at LCC may be made at end of July

FRIDAY, July 13 – The fate of the pool at Lansing Community College may soon be decided.

Early last year the conversation started on whether to demolish, touch-up or completely remodel the 36-year-old indoor pool, which is in the Gannon Building on the downtown campus. Later in the year, the administration came up with a $3.5 million price tag for a complete renovation, which was countered by estimates from the Physical Fitness and Wellness Department staff that said small improvements for less than $200,000 could extend the pool’s life.

Pool staff report that about 478 swimmers use the pool each week, LCC spokeswoman Ellen Jones said in a December e-mail. That number now, according to Jones in an e-mail, is down to 125. 

On Tuesday, Margie Clark, dean of health and human services, met with faculty members of the aquatics program to discuss the program’s options if the pool were closed.

I need to know options from all of you where we can deliver aquatic education if we no longer have the pool facility,” she said. “If the pool isn't here, what are our options?”

The conversation made one thing clear: There are no apparent options.

There are no swimming pools in the area like the one at LCC that can host the broad range of classes offered by both the college and outside programs, members of the faculty argued. Swim training, scuba diving, water exercise, life guarding, water walking and arthritis aquatics are all programs available through the college in the six-lane pool.

Nancy Lee, who has taught aquatics classes for seven years, said closing the pool would be a great disservice to students, staff and members of the community who use the facilities.

I was here the first day the pool opened,” said adjunct faculty member Richard Mull. “I don’t want be here the last day it closes.”

Clark said no decision has been made yet. The board will meet at 6 p.m. July 30 to discuss facilities, Jones. No agenda is available at this point but she said a discussion on the pool would be likely.